Motorists are advised to use extreme caution when driving the Erepeti and Ohuka roads.
Following the closure of the Ruakituri Road, due to structural damage on the Te Reinga Bridge, this alternative route is expected to become very busy.
Wairoa District Council Chief Executive Kitea Tipuna said this detour has not been designed for the predicted increased traffic and the roads are already under pressure with slips and damage which occurred during the recent weather event.
The alternative route will be used for logging trucks to bring harvested wood out of the Ruakituri Forest, for stock trucks to cart stock for farmers, for heavy machinery being used for road repairs, possibly school buses and general traffic.
“We are doing the best we can to maintain this route, but all drivers need to remain vigilant. To minimise risk please drive these roads as if there is something coming the other way at all times.
“Logging trucks will only be on the road while they cart logs that were felled prior to the closure of the Te Reinga Bridge. Further harvesting has been stopped until the bridge is re-opened.
“Four logging trucks will each take two loads out of the Ruakituri Forest daily and expect to be travelling on the alternative route between 5-8am and 11am-2pm.
“We are appreciative of the Ruakituri Forest owners temporarily stopping their harvesting. We all recognise that the closure of the Ruakituri Road and Te Reinga Bridge is creating major inconveniences and that there is a need to keep businesses and people moving along what has now become a key lifeline route.”
Mr Tipuna said traffic on this detour is expected to triple until the Te Reinga Bridge is opened. “We will continue to regularly inspect the roads and will remain in close contact with forestry while these logs are taken out, and all other road users.
“Thank you to everyone for your collaborative approach and please take extra precautions on these roads to ensure everyone is kept safe.”
8 April 2022
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